Islamabad: Speaker and participants, while deliberating on worsening human rights situation in Balochistan, unanimously demanded an immediate end to ongoing security operation in the province and recovery of missing persons and an end to bullet-ridden bodies besides judicial investigation for such unlawful crimes against humanity to peacefully resolve the violent Balochistan conflict.
The consensus emerged during a national seminar on ‘Human rights situation in Balochistan’ jointly organized by Sungi Development Foundation and Sustainable Development Policy Institute (SDPI) here on Monday at a local hotel.
Senator Mir Hasil Bizenjo said missing persons and bullet-ridden bodies is one of the major issues in Balochistan today. He said the state itself has been the major violator of human rights in Balochistan and the province presents 18th century picture where people have no human rights at all.
He said the day prime minister of Pakistan announced Balochistan package, the happening of mutilated bodies started and it still continues in the province. The resentment of Baloch people has genuine reasons adding that unfortunately the security establishment does not have the vision and will to address these happenings, he added.
‘They are even not ready to accept such human rights violations are taking place in the province’ he further added. He said no civilian government is able to deal with this issue and they have been only interested in completing their tenures peacefully without addressing the core issues of conflict. He said only common people are worried about Balochistan-federation crisis not the powerful ruling elite.
Sheikh Asad Rahman of Sungi Development Foundation narrated historical context of resistance movement in Balochistan. “History of deception and broken promises, exploitation and deprivation of Baloch people started soon after the partition when Pakistan deviated its governing structure from a Quaid’s-promised confederation to a today’s federation” he added.
He said Pakistani laws empower instead of its people, state institutions such as military through article 245 to violate human rights and remain unaccountable for their controversial actions in any court of law. He said violence cannot be stopped unless security forces are brought under the civilian government and respect and obey the constitution.
Nasreen Azhar of Human Rights Commission of Pakistan (HRCP) urged government to seriously take up issues of missing persons and demanded that law and order situation must be handled by police instead of Frontier Constabulary.
She said affected people must be provided with justice and proper compensation. Nasreen called for transparent investigation of all the cases of human rights violations and the security forces which are not accountable for their misconduct and they must be held accountable for gross human rights violations.
Professor Asim Sajjad Akhtar of Workers Party Pakistan said Balochistan is a political issue and there is a war-like situation in the province. ‘Pakistan should end its colonial attitude and policy towards Balochistan and bring back its security forces from there as today’s unprecedented unrest and violence is direct result of this colonization process, he added. He also screened a documentary on Balochistan titled ‘negotiation at gun point which highlights gross human rights violations in the province and interviews of violence victims.
Faisal Nadeem Gorchani of SDPI said that worsening human rights situation in Balochistan requires open and sincere debate in the mainstream public domain so that the decades old grievances of this internal challenge can be peacefully addressed to ensure prosperity and integrity of the country. He maintained that facts are often distorted and hidden from general public which create information and perception gap among masses as happened in the East Pakistan’s case.
He underlined that we should put our house in order instead unquestionably believing the false propagandas. He highlighted vast untapped natural and energy resources, importance of location of Balochistan and underlined the need for sincere and meaningful dialogue with all stakeholders for the resolution of this worsening internal conflict so that Pakistan as whole and Balochistan in particular could benefit and prosper.
The house further demanded protection for the lives of journalists in the province and called for media to end its neglect towards Balochistan and highlight the ground reality in rest of Pakistan. The demanded immediate production of missing persons, withdrawal of FC from interior Balochistan and its deployment at borders to deal with ongoing Taliban militants infiltration, end to kill-and-dump policy and intelligence agencies’ alleged patronization to sectarian and ethnic groups and accountability of all torture and abduction cases.
For more information, contact:
Faisal Nadeem Gorchani
Coordinator, Policy Advocacy and Outreach
Sustainable Development Policy Institute (SDPI)
38 Embassy Road, G-6/3 Islamabad, Pakistan
Postal Code: 44000
Tel: +92-51-2278134, (Ext: 113)
Cell: 00-92-333-559 2210